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Getting Started

Information for your industry analysis will come from many different sources, including, but not limited to, trade associations, investment analysts, commercial publishers and government agencies. The nature of the industry you are investigating will help determine which resources are the best starting points. For example, large established industries will be well covered by the commercial publishers; smaller and newer industries may be better covered by trade associations, industry newsletters, and more specialized databases.

Q: How is your industry classified in databases and core publications? What is the industry's NAICS or SIC code?

Find Industry Overviews

Locate industry surveys or overviews. Use sources listed below, as well as the Hawaii Voyager Library Catalog. Remember, many books offer in-depth histories and profiles of specific industries.

Learn About the Competition

Determine the major players. Research these companies to get an idea of some of the key issues, strengths and weaknesses in the industry. Remember the 10-K that U.S. public companies must file with the SEC. In the Business Overview Section (Item 1 - Business), companies are required to report on the nature of competition in their industry. This section often delivers key insights into the competitive factors that shape an industry. See Mergent Online or EDGAR (SEC database) to retrieve 10-Ks.

Examine Industry Norms, Ratios, Benchmarks

Gather Additional Data and Statistics

Read About Your Industry

Find news and articles to gain a better sense of the industry's structure, how it operates, and where the players are focusing their energies.

See Industry / Trade Associations

Most business activities have a trade or professional association supporting the interests of its members. Many of these associations provide forums, publications, and web sites.